Modeling and Animating Toothbrush Bristles: Create and Groom Toothbrush Bristles using Hair

Photo of Vic Garcia

Instructor Vic Garcia

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  • Duration: 11:24
  • Views: 1600
  • Made with Release: 16
  • Works with Release: 16 and greater

Use the Hair Object, Hair Tools, and Hair Material to create toothbrush bristles.

In this lesson, we will use the Hair Tools and Hair Material to give the toothbrush bristles a stylized look.. We will adjust a few hair parameters to get our final look before adding dynamics.



- In this lesson, I'll show you how to create the bristles for the toothbrush using the hair object. We'll then use the texture we painted in the previous lesson to set their colors. Let's go ahead and add the bristles to the toothbrush. We're going to select the hair growth surface. Let's go up to simulate, go down to hair objects, and add hair. Right off the bat, you'll see that we have some hair guides. That looks really good. Let's go ahead and do a test render. We'll see that we have hair. Now, the problem is that it looks pretty bad. Let's make this look better, let's add the texture that we made in the last lesson to it. When we added the hair object, the hair material was created, so we're going to use this hair material to add the texture to it. Let's go ahead and double click on the hair material. Let's go into the color setting and let's go into roots. Let's go ahead and click on the twirl down section of texture, and let's go up to bitmaps. The bitmap section stores all the textures that are in the current scene. That's why the bristle color map's already in here, because we have that texture from the last lesson on this material. Let's click on the bristle_colormap. You can see that's been added to the roots. Let's go ahead and render this. You'll see that our color has been added to the bristles. This is great. Looks a little flat, so let's add a couple of lights and some shadows to the scene so we can get some more detail around the hair strands. Let's go ahead and go up to light. Let's add an infinite light. Let's pull back and let's move this light to the front. I'm going to rotate this light so the light faces the bristles. I'm going to move this light to the side. I'm going to go ahead and move this light up. I'm going to duplicate the light, control click and drag in the viewport. I'm going to use to use the rotate tool to rotate this back around to face the bristles. I'm going to rotate both lights down just a little bit so that they're facing the bristles, just like that. Let's go ahead and select both lights, and let's turn on the shadows. Shadows is set to none right now, let's change this to... I'm going to use shadow maps. This renders pretty fast. Let's see what we have. Let's click on render, and you can see that now we have some nice detail around the strands. This looks really nice. The one thing I'm seeing is that if I zoom in a little closer, you'll see that the roots, the strands are thicker than the tips. We want this to be the same thickness. We're going to do that in the hair material. Let's go down to thickness, and you can see that the root right now is set to 0.1 millimeters, but the tip is set to .01, so we need to change the tip to be the same as the root. Let's re-render this. That looks better. Now it's the same thickness overall. Seeing that there's a lot of bristles right now in the scene, we need to reduce the amount of bristles. I did some research and found out that the average has about 2500 bristles. If we select the hair object and go down to hairs, you'll see that right now we have a count of 5,000 bristles. Let's cut this in half. Type in 2500. Let's re-render this. This looks a lot better. We're seeing even more detail now because we have a fewer amount of strands. This looks better. It's not so crowded. We're going to pull back a little bit. Let's re-render it. Now what I'm seeing is that, the strands are pretty straight. We need to give them a little bit of variety, we need to have some of these strands flare out just a little bit, just to make it seem like the toothbrush has been used a couple times at least. We can also do that in the hair materials. Let's go down to the clump section. Let's go ahead and turn this one on. You won't see anything yet. That's because we don't see the hairs right now in the viewport, so let's turn the hairs on. That's going to help us a lot. Select the hair object. Let's go over to the editor tab. Let's change the preview mode, under display, let's change this from guidelines to hairlines. You'll see some hairs now in the viewport. If I deselect the hair object, that'll get rid of the hair guide. Now, we only have the hair showing. If we render this, we'll see that everything still looks the same, except now we have some clumping going on, because the clumps on. If I were to crank the clump up to about 100, you'll see that there's some major clumping going on. That's not what we want. We actually want the opposite effect. We want these to flare out. Let's go ahead and dial the clump down to a negative number. Let's go down to about negative 11. You'll see that they'll start flaring out now. This is a little bit too much, let's drop this down to about negative seven, and let's do a re-render. That's looking a lot better. We're getting a little subtle variety and I'm happy with that. Let's render from this angle. Let's bring up the picture viewer. Here is our reference toothbrush. If we move in a little closer, you'll see that the white bristles are actually shorter than the rest of the clumps. You can see it right here. We need to scale down the white bristles. Then the front end bristles, the blue ones, scale up and create this nice little shape. So we're going to go ahead and do this. Before we do anything, let's select the hair. I'm going to minimize this for a second. I'm going to change the way these guides are distributed over the hair growth surface. Right now they're taking on the shape, the cylindrical shape from the caps. I want them to be evenly spread out. That's going to make it easier for us to make some fine-tuning adjustments when we use the hair tools to shape the hair a little better. I'm going to go to the guides tab and I'm going to change the root from polygon vertex to polygon area. You'll see that the guides change, and now we have some hair guides in the center area, so we can further adjust the center hairs with these guides. We have a little more control now. Let's pull back. Let's go up to simulate. Let's go down to hair selection. Let's pull out the hair selections tab. Let's move this tab to the side. Let's go back up to simulate. Let's go down to hair tools and let's pull out the hair tools tab. Pull this to the side. Let's go up to the top view, so let's press F2. We're going to use the live selection tool to select the hair clumps. I'm going to press right bracket to dial up the radius of the brush. I'm just going to click on the center hair guides and then move up and shift click to add to the selection. Let's grab these other white clumps. I'm going to press F1 to go back to the perspective view. I'm going to click on the scale tool, this is a hair scale tool right here. I'm going to click and drag in the viewport. I'm going to move these down a bit, scale them down, right around so. Let's render this. You'll see that they have indeed been scaled down. That looks good. Let's go ahead and modify the front bristles. I'm going to go back to the live selection tool and click and drag over the front bristles. Let's go to the side view, press F3. Let's move in a little closer. Let's bring up our picture viewer again so you can see what we're trying to do. Use this as a reference. We're going to use the brush tool to create this little look right here. Let's go up to the brush tool. We're going to move this up just a bit. Under the brush options, I want to make sure that I have selected only checked, that way we only modify the selected guides. Then under mode, let's change the mode from move to scale. Let's drop the strength down from 100% to about 30. We're going to come in closer. I'm just going to click and drag on the guides. One click at a time. Click and drag. If you hold down your mouse button it'll scale these up a little more than just clicking. Sometimes if you let go of the button, the computer's trying to catch up, this is resource intensive. There's a lot going on here while we're making these small adjustments. That looks pretty good. We can be here for hours trying to adjust this, but this is actually looking pretty good. I'm going to go back to the perspective view. Pull back a bit, and let's render this. All right, that's looking pretty good. I'm just going to make a couple of adjustments, I'm going to bring some of these clumps here, some of these guides up in the center, up a little bit more. I'm going to do that using the front view, so I'm going to press F4. Come in closer. I'm going to dial down the brush size, I'm going to use the left bracket. I'm just going to pull some of these up here in the middle. Then, minimize the picture viewer. I'm just going to bring these up a little bit more. It's trying to refresh. There we go. Also, this one clump right here. Just like that. Okay, let's press F1. Let's pull back a little bit more, and let's see what we have. That's looking really nice. I am liking that. Let me close these tabs. Let's go to the object manager. Let's grab the hair, the toothbrush base, and the hair growth surface. Let's press Alt G to group them. Let's call this new group toothbrush_group. Let's go ahead and save this, so let's go to file, let's do a save incremental. Let's move in a little closer for one final render to end this lesson. This is looking great, we're ready to move on. By using the hair tools and the hair material, we can easily stylize the look of the toothbrush bristles. Next, we'll adjust the hair dynamics to get really nice, stiff-looking bristles.
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